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Honored to be interviewed by The Sales Evangelist himself Donald Kelly on The Sales Evangelist Podcast. We packed an amazing amount of info into this episode! Enjoy!

Interview with James Muir on The Sales Evangelist Podcast

Podcast Links

Description & Notes From The Sales Evangelist

The CLOSE is one of the most interesting parts of the whole selling process. Many sellers have anxiety over this and it’s a major area people make mistakes in. Today, James Muir, shares how you can be more effective through making the perfect close every time.

James Muir is the author of The Perfect Close: The Secret to Closing Sales. James is a Corporate Trainer and Executive Coach who specializes in B2B complex sales, helping salespeople and B2B executives become as effective as they can be.

Why another book on sales:

  • James discovered the need for a book about closing because he noticed many mistakes done by salespeople on closing sales.
  • People don’t ask for a sale at all; 50-90% of all sales encounters end with no commitment asked.
  • The problem is typically skill (not knowing how) and will (attitude) – The will problem is the most common reason people don’t ask.
  • 99% of closing methods being taught are manipulative.

Manipulative Closing 

  • It’s when you try to push the customer faster than they’re ready for that they start to feel being manipulated.

Principles of the Perfect Close:

  1. Figure out the questions you’re going to ask that advances the sale to the next step.

The saying that “selling is everything you do” is not very actionable.

  1. Have the right intent.

Intent matters more than technique. Your voice and body languages are sending messages and all this is happening in the first few seconds. It’s important to have the right intent and your body will be sending all the right signals. Otherwise, your prospect will withhold information and the process will become dysfunctional.

  1. Selling is serving.

Understand that each solution you sell helps another person. So helping that person move towards that goal is an act of service. Don’t get so caught up in “what’s in it for you” that you forget your goal of helping the client.

  1. Be a better coach and a better teacher.

Clients want a guide that’s going to help them through each little commitment that takes to achieve their goal. It’s more than selling. It’s leadership. So be a better teacher and a better problem-solver.

  1. Move the sale forward in a little way.

This is taken from Neil Rackham’s concept of an advance where you make little advances to create a momentum towards closing the sale. It involves several little “asks” on the way to the big “ask.” Invest time to figure out what are the little steps in your kind of sale that will lead up to your bigger sale.

  1. Have an ideal advance along with a couple of alternatives.
Closing variation #1: The Fallback

Use an alternative in the most natural way to fall back to another possible option. If they say it doesn’t make sense for them to x then you’re going to say, “Other clients this stage tend to do y. Does it make sense for you to do that?” By giving them a logical next step, you’re helping them through their buying process.

Closing variation #2: The Add On

After agreeing to your ideal advance ask if there are any other logical steps you should be taking right now. This allows you to pace your advance at the rate that the client is ready for. Remember, it’s when you start to push them faster that they’d start to feel manipulated.

  1. Create agendas.

Somewhere in your agenda, identify “next steps” or “action items”.  That’s the moment you’re going to use your Perfect Close phrase and ask for your ideal advance.

  1. At its core, The Perfect Close is not a closing question, but a timing question.

Asking for the timing leaves you on a much higher emotional ground than any other closing questions. It allows you gauge how engaged they are in the process.

James’s Major Takeaway:

Intent matters more than technique. If people can see you are genuinely trying to help them, they will let you help them. Get your intent in the right place and everything else will follow. Be present with the customer. Just try to figure out how you can help them out.

Episode Resources:

Connect with James on his website and follow him on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

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